The University of British Columbia (UBC)

PhD or Master's Student, Biofluid Diagnostics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

The University of British Columbia (UBC)

Vancouver, Canada

Job Summary

A graduate student position (MSc or PhD) is available in the lab of Dr. Mari DeMarco in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada ( The graduate student will participate in the discovery of novel biomarkers and the development of new biomarker tests for the diagnosis of neurodegenerative syndromes, focusing on frontotemporal dementia or synucleinopathies (e.g., Parkinson’s disease dementia). Biofluid tests are desperately needed to help doctors diagnose these diseases when symptoms first appear. Timely and accurate diagnosis of the specific type of dementia has many downstream benefits including enabling access to the right therapy at the right time, and by helping individuals and their families plan for the future.

Training environment

The student will be based at St Paul’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia, located in downtown Vancouver, Canada. The student will work in a collaborative clinical research environment, and will interact regularly with clinicians, biostatisticians, and other researchers.

About the DeMarco Lab

Combining protein biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and laboratory medicine, the DeMarco Lab develops new biofluid tests for immediate use in patient care. The group works collaboratively with health care providers and patients to design, develop and implement biofluid diagnostics to fill unmet needs in medicine.

Why apply for this position?

This position will allow you to solve real-world problems in medicine using analytical chemistry and protein biochemistry. Here your research can have direct impact on patient care as you work to identify new biomarkers and create diagnostic tools.

Qualifications & Skills

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant scientific discipline;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work in a team environment;
  • Previous hands-on experience with analytical equipment (e.g., liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, or spectroscopy) or protein biochemistry techniques would be an asset.

To apply

Submit (1) a cover letter, (2) a CV or resume, and (3) unofficial undergraduate transcripts, as a single PDF document, to mdmrco {at}      

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications that do not include the three pieces of information noted above will not be reviewed.

This posting is for the UBC Vancouver campus in British Columbia, Canada.

Please refer to reference number NC-55435 during correspondence about this position.

Please note that applicants will have to complete an online application to the University of British Columbia and gain admission as a graduate student to the university. Applicants should review the graduate program profile to learn about admission requirements, application deadlines, program duration, tuition, or to read student and alumni stories.

About UBC
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

Doctoral studies at UBC Vancouver
UBC is a public university with a comprehensive program offering – covering all major academic disciplines and degree levels, with both research- and course-based program options. More than 50,000 students attend UBC Vancouver. As a PhD student at UBC Vancouver you’ll be part of a diverse community of over 3,600 doctoral scholars at an institution that recognises and rewards the significant contributions of doctoral research. UBC is at the forefront of responding to and building on the extraordinary changes happening in our societies and our world, through reimagining approaches to research graduate education and exploring flexible methodologies for learners to develop needed expertise. UBC’s Public Scholars Initiative for example is a pioneering program designed to encourage and support doctoral students to reimagine the PhD, contribute to the public good, and with their doctoral work rise to the challenges that increasingly define our times.

At UBC, you will be supported with a range of professional development workshops and services, and we’ll partner with you to ensure you have a graduate game plan for academic and professional success.

You are encouraged to review the awards and scholarship database to determine funding opportunities for your doctoral degree. UBC Vancouver guarantees a minimum of CAD $22,000 of funding to eligible students for your first four years of PhD study with many programs offering higher funding packages. Funding highly varies by program and will be commensurate with qualifications, experience and awards secured. Most international students benefit from the International Tuition Award and PhD students usually qualify for the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award.

About UBC’s Faculty of Medicine
Every day across British Columbia, trainees and researchers at the UBC Faculty of Medicine are turning skills into jobs, investments into discoveries, and discoveries into solutions that are transforming health for everyone.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine offers a diverse array of training opportunities including cutting-edge research experiences in the biosciences, globally recognized population health education, quality health professional training, as well as several certificate and online training options. The Faculty of Medicine is home to more than 1,700 graduate students housed in 23 graduate programs (14 of which offer doctoral research options). Year after year, research excellence in the Faculty of Medicine is supported by investment from funding sources here at home and around the globe, receiving approximately $1.6B in total research funding in the last five years.

About Vancouver
Vancouver is a dynamic, cosmopolitan and progressive city, consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in the world. Canada’s third largest city has it all: sea, parks, mountains, beaches, and four seasons per year, including beautiful summers and mild, wet winters with snow in the mountains. It’s the perfect backdrop to your academic research.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: NC-55435